The Unsolved Mysteries franchise has a reputation for igniting public interest in mysterious cold cases and, occasionally, that interest can lead to meaningful developments in a case. This was the case for Alonzo Brooks, who Netflix viewers may remember as the young, Black man who never found his way home after being left behind at a party by friends. Now, it seems as though Brooks' family may finally get justice, as officials have confirmed the young man's death has officially been ruled a homicide.
The ruling was part of a new autopsy, which CNN reported happened after the body was exhumed and transported to Dover Air Force Base for examination by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner. Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard said in a news release that the latest autopsy on Alonzo Brooks found more than the previous one taken at the time of his recovery, which couldn't determine a cause of death:
We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances. This new examination by a team of the world's best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed. We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice.
It's one step closer to justice after Alonzo Brooks's case was mishandled by investigators at the time of his disappearance in 2004. Brooks went missing at a party of around 100 people in a rural area, of which he was one of only three Black men in attendance. Brooks was left behind by his friends and didn't turn up the next morning. Police attempted a search for Brooks, but the body wasn't recovered until a month later when friends and family searched and uncovered Brooks' body on top of brush and branches in a creek.
Unsolved Mysteries aired Brooks' story and, soon, viewers began to talk about the suspicious nature in which the case was conducted. The general suspicion from viewers was that someone that night knew more than they had let on to investigators and, sure enough, credible tips flooded in on the case, which ultimately led to Brooks' body being exhumed back in July 2020.
Due to the nature of the ongoing investigation on Alonzo Brooks, it couldn't be explicitly said what authorities uncovered in this new autopsy, though it was said that injuries on the young man's body were "inconsistent with normal patterns of decomposition." Foul play had been suspected by Brooks' family and friends and, now that it's officially ruled a homicide, actual suspects may be investigated in the matter and brought to justice.
Unsolved Mysteries is available to stream on Netflix. Alonzo Brooks' case is certainly an interesting one, but not the only one in which it seemed someone with clear answers wasn't contributing them to the investigation. Many viewers also point to the mystery of Rey Rivera's death and the suspicious friend who actively blocked anyone who asked about it on Twitter.